For Mordecai the Jew was next to king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brothers…
Integrity must prosper sooner or later. Were it not so, we should lose faith in eternal righteousness. Appearances may be unfavourable for a time, wrong, sorrow, suffering may precede, but either here or hereafter a distinction will most assuredly be made between the true and the false. Joseph, though consigned to prison, was subsequently raised to power; Daniel, though cast into the lions' den, eventually sat with princes; Mordecai, though threatened with death, finally became "next unto king Ahasuerns." It is said that Mordecai was "great." What does greatness consist in?
1. Physical endowments. Strength, skill, courage are among these. The athlete, the warrior, the hunter were heroes in ancient times. The deeds of Hercules, Samson, Goliath were celebrated in song.
2. Mental powers. Genius is everywhere admired. Its mighty works are the most precious inheritances of our race. In literature, in science, in art, in the numberless inventions of civilised life, it continues to bless the world.
3. Exalted position. This may be due to mere accident. Kings, princes, noblemen are as a rule born to their high rank. When such is the case they deserve no credit for it. High places are sometimes snatched by the unscrupulous - by men who have no better recommendation than their audacity in the universal scramble for power which goes on round about us. There is no meanness that some will not stoop to, for the sake of the glittering honours of office, or even those petty distinctions which noble minds hold in utter contempt. But distinguished stations are also the rewards of physical endowments and mental powers honourably employed. Then are they to be coveted, to be held in high esteem. The case of Mordecai is a noted example. The text leads us to notice THE TESTS OF MORAL WORTH. Speaking generally, these are 'numerous; but we shall confine ourselves to those suggested here - popularity, unselfishness, peaceableness. Whom shall we consider morally great?
I. THE MAN WHO STANDS WELL WITH THE BEST PORTION OF THE COMMUNITY. "And accepted of the multitude of his brethren." Popularity as such has no intrinsic value, and to seek it for its own sake is degrading to the soul. Let any thoughtful man, while contemplating the quality of the exhibition that attracts the largest crowd, ask himself whether the admiration of such a crowd is really worth obtaining, and his inmost soul will answer, No. Crowds have been so often on the wrong side in great controversies that they have actually lost all claim to respect. They have generally applauded unjust wars; they have persecuted the pioneers of knowledge, both secular and religious; they acquiesced in the death of the Saviour. And yet, though the crowds of one age murder the prophets, the crowds of future ages will always build their sepulchres. History ever does justice to the memory of the martyr, and even he becomes popular when too late. But the Jews in captivity, the "brethren" of Mordecai, were a select community. They possessed a knowledge of things Divine which placed them on an incomparably higher level than the heathen among whom they lived. To be accepted of them, therefore, was a mark of worth. "The multitude of his brethren." A man may be the favourite of a party simply for party considerations. But when the upright among all parties agree to honour him, it must be on account of sterling qualities.
II. THE MAN WHO DEVOTES HIMSELF TO PROMOTE THE GOOD OF OTHERS. "Seeking the wealth of his people." Self-sacrifice was the Divinest quality in the Divinest Man. "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." Into the kingdom which he came to establish no man can enter without denying himself, taking up his cross, and following him. Fallen man is essentially selfish. Look around you for a single moment, and the proofs of this will crowd upon your view. Most of the evils with which man afflicts his kind are traceable to this source. But look at the grand lives of history - lives which light up the gloom of sin and woe in which the world is enveloped - and what constitutes their glory? They are grand only in so far as they approach the sublime ideal which was fully realised only by One. Take the Apostle Paul. His memorable utterance to the Corinthians was the key-note of his entire life: "I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved."
III. THE MAN WHO EXERTS HIS INFLUENCE IN THE INTEREST OF PEACE. "And speaking peace to all his seed." The primary reference in these words is probably to the kindness of Mordecai's disposition, but they are capable of a somewhat wider application, so as to include the desire of maintaining harmony, order, peace. It has been said of mankind, with too much reason, that their "state of nature is a state of war." Sin divides men. In private life, in public affairs, in international relations, this is seen daily. Envy, rivalry, strife are found everywhere. Such is the state of things even in this enlightened age, that no nation feels itself safe except it be prepared for the most deadly struggle with its neighbour. The advocate of peace is consequently a benefactor of his kind. The kingdom of God is "peace." The birth of its Founder was heralded by angels who sang of "peace on earth." The most precious legacy which Christ left his people was his "peace." And among the grand utterances of the grandest sermon is found this: "Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God." - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: For Mordecai the Jew was next unto king Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted of the multitude of his brethren, seeking the wealth of his people, and speaking peace to all his seed.
WEB: For Mordecai the Jew was next to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and accepted by the multitude of his brothers, seeking the good of his people, and speaking peace to all his descendants.